Science and Engineering Students Accessing Alcalá "culture lab". CIEE Alcalá Summer 2012 (session I)
Science Majors and Engineering Students Accessing the Alcalá “culture lab”: Summer 2012, Session 1 An unusual high number of Science majors in Engineering, Biology, Nursing and Pre-Medicine have hung up their white lab coats and are now focused on language and culture in the CIEE summer session of Alcalá. One of the main reasons for selecting this program is seeking out an academic option in the summer, especially when special requirements for science majors make it a challenge to study abroad during the fall or spring semester. For many of them CIEE Alcalá is a good combination of rigor and access to Spanish culture.
Integrative Physiology and Science major Sarah Shires, from University of Iowa, who is posing with a statue of Don Quijote, is taking this summer opportunity to explore Spanish culture. Sarah is planning to go to medical school upon graduation and during this first session in Alcalá Sarah is doing course work in Spanish Art History and Spanish-English Translation. Sarah says: “I love solving structural problems and in my Translation class I feel I am constantly solving a scientific puzzle.”
One of the engineering students this summer, Corey Randall from Colorado State University, who is excited about residing within the medieval heritage of Alcalá, has summarized his experience as follows: “One of the first things I noticed in my home stay was the different electrical outlet: Strange yet modern.” “This started me thinking of many questions and how to ask them in Spanish. I wanted to expose myself to speaking the language. CIEE Alcalá is one of the few programs in Spain with a full eight-week program that allows for both cultural immersion and language learning. I wanted this experience to be rewarding because I did not have this type opportunity during the rest of my academic year. I have to be in lab rooms and completing research in biological and chemical engineering and now I can focus on Spanish culture.” Corey is taking Spanish Literature and Spanish-English Translation.
Other science students are also looking for a broad cultural experience. Nursing student, Nicole Orth, from St. Catherine University, and Pre-Medicine major, Ariel Winter, from University of Wisconsin-Madison, took a study break and went exploring the city of Toledo for one day.
Other science students went to “La noche en blanco,” a free and annual music and arts festival in the historic center of Alcalá on Saturday, June 9th: They were Joanna Amaya from University of Iowa (Biological and Chemical Engineering), Rachael Talentowski from University of Iowa, (Biology), Kelsey Stayer from University of Pittsburgh (Biology), Paula Gomez from University of Iowa (Physiology), Maria Schreiner (Economics) and Elizabeth Molleston fro University of Indiana (Elementary Education). The musical acts included a variety of gospel choirs, flamenco dance groups and several new Spanish rock bands. Many of them performed on the outdoor stages that were especially built on the main square of the Plaza Cervantes, sections of the calle Mayor and other open, lit-up spaces with historic building backdrops in the city center.